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Agency offers tours for toys

By Reuters

A Czech travel agency is offering escorted trips for pampered toys.

Send them your favourite animal and they will whisk it around the sights of Prague, taking photographs of it against backgrounds such as Prague Castle or the Charles Bridge.

The Toy Traveling agency was pitched to a panel of local businessmen for a TV reality show Den D by 22-year-old decorator Marek Hlavka last week.

The concept was inspired by the 2001 film Amelie from Montmartre in which the heroine has pictures of her father's garden gnome posed in front of various world landmarks sent to him to convince him to fulfil his dream of touring the world. "As we start, we're focusing on North American and Japanese markets, where there is a huge amount of people owning stuffed animals," said Tomio Okamura, one of the businessmen who have decided to invest in the idea.

He and ex-Czech minister of information technology Dana Berova have agreed to invest an initial 150,000 crowns (Dh28,919) each in the project.

In the past week, the venture's website sendyourdarling.com has logged more than 15,000 visitors.

"We are very surprised with such a massive interest from clients both from here and from abroad – we really did not expect that," Hlavka said in an email.

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